The Texas student section cheers a blocked field goal by the Longhorns defense at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Sunday September 4, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Football

Texas vs. Notre Dame: Our four pregame questions — answered

Posted September 5th, 2016

On Sunday morning, we asked four questions about the Texas-Notre Dame matchup.

Here’s how they played out:

WHICH QUARTERBACK HAD THE BEST DAY?

DeShone Kizer. Statistically, anyway — the Notre Dame starter threw for 215 yards and five touchdowns, and added 77 rushing yards. But Texas’ Shane Buechele (16 of 26 for 280 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) played calm and cool and showed a nice touch on a handful of deep throws. And he got the win. Tyrone Swoopes notched three rushing TDs, including the game winner in double overtime. Malik Zaire, who looked so good against Texas in last year’s 38-3 Irish win, didn’t make much of an impact and spent most of the second half on the sideline.

DID TEXAS SET A RECORD FOR MOST PLAYS IN A GAME?

No. Though the 86 plays that Texas produced was a big step forward from the Longhorns’ 2015 efforts, when they averaged a pedestrian 65 plays per game. Texas had 86 plays against the Irish. The school record was set back in 1987, when Texas ran an eye-popping 101 plays against Houston in a 60-40 Cougars victory.

DID THE LONGHORNS STOP THE RUN?

No.  There was at least improvement from the 2015 effort against Notre Dame, but only barely. Tarean Folston rushed for 88 yards and Kizer added 77, but there was only one rushing touchdown. The Irish rushed for 206 yards, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Last year, Notre Dame rushed for 214 yards and two touchdowns.

WHO GOT A BIGGER OVATION: BUECHELE OR BEVO?

Bevo XV. And it wasn’t even close. That’s not to say the freshman quarterback didn’t feel the love from the Royal-Memorial Stadium crowd, because he did, but seeing the new Bevo make his way up the tunnel ignited a roar across the crowd of 102,315. Both Buechele and Swoopes got their share of cheers and support.

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